The progress of homeopathy can be measured very largely by its publications. There are thirty or forty homeopathic journals throughout the world and there are a number of extremely active publishers who bring out book after book concerned with the new art and science of healing.

Publishers: The Homoeopathic Publishing Company.

The enemies of homoeopathy have asserted for decades that homoeopathy was declining and dying out. Yet interest in homoeopathy keeps on broadening in every country. There are more than 10,000 doctors in the world who have passed all the orthodox examinations and who have subsequently taken up homoeopathy, being convinced that they can do better curative work by using homoeopathic methods of treatment than by using the orthodox methods.

The progress of homoeopathy can be measured very largely by its publications. There are thirty or forty homoeopathic journals throughout the world and there are a number of extremely active publishers who bring out book after book concerned with the new art and science of healing.

The Homoeopathic Publishing Co. brought out a few weeks ago a reprint of the Materia Medica Pura, the magnum opus of Hahnemann, which was issued originally in 1830, and which, after more than a century, is as valuable and as authoritative as it was when it was first published. We have now before us a valuable and interesting book with the above title by Dr. Roberts of Derby, Connecticut, the editor of the well-known American monthly, the Homoeopathic Recorder.

Dr. Roberts is a scholar, an enthusiast for homoeopathy, a successful doctor, and he has written a very scholarly volume which will appeal to all the scholarly minded. He deals largely with homoeopathic philosophy, with the ideas which have animated homoeopaths ever since the time of Hahnemann. Hahnemann and his disciples saw the seat of disease not in a local disorder such as a malfunctioning liver or kidney or stomach. True homoeopaths do not look at a local swelling and try to cure it by cutting it out.

Homoeopaths consider most local disorders and diseases to be merely local manifestations of a disturbed and disordered constitution, and they wish to act on the vital force in such a way that it will mend the disordered structure or organ. After all, this is a policy which is frequently followed by orthodox doctors themselves. If a man goes to the doctor with a gouty toe, the wise doctor does not examine the gouty toe but enquires about the patients diet and contents of his wine cellar.

Hahnemann and his successors consider the most important fact about the human body is not to be found in the normal functioning of the various organs which are more or less carefully examined by the orthodox physicians. They believe that the most important fact about the body is a strong vital force. Dr. Roberts introduces us in the opening chapters to the vital force, the working of which is apparent in the functions of the body in health and in disease, in recovery and in cure, and he discusses the vital energy of the body and the way in which the homoeopathic remedies act upon the vital force.

Every patient is taught by his instinct that the most important thing about him is the vital force. A patient will frequently say to his adviser: “The complaint for which I came to you is no better, but I feel better in myself.” This means probably that the vital force has become stimulated and that the vital processes which make for recovery and cure have become more active.

Dr. Roberts deals with the problem of health and disease in a very scholarly manner. He has devoted a chapter to the fundamental laws of homoeopathy, in another chapter he describes the homoeopathic remedies and explains why the small doses are so effective, he teaches his readers how to take the case – in Homoeopathy, taking the case by interrogation is far more important than physical examination with a stethoscope and other instruments. He describes the law of cure, explains the dynamic action of drugs and the selection of the dose.

He teaches us how the body reacts to the remedies given, describes how the scope and power of the homoeopathic drugs is ascertained by experiments on human beings, on so-called provers, etc. He teaches how to prescribe for patients and deals with the important factor of susceptibility which varies greatly in different patients. He had devoted a special chapter to suppression. Unfortunately, orthodox medicine is better at suppression than at curing disease.

It uses powerful ointments to drive in eruptions and the vital power, being checked in its attempt to expel disease material by the skin, may deposit it in the liver, the lungs, or heart or other organs, to the harm of the patient. Another chapter is devoted to temperaments of patients, another one to local applications, and finally he deals with the three great causes of disease recognized by Hahnemann: Psora, Syphilis and Sycosis.

Every earnest student of homoeopathy will read this book which is written in a philosophical strain and which will school his mind and open new vistas to him. It is not as easy to read as it might be. Dr. Roberts is too serious a student to have the journalistic touch which was possessed to an eminent degree by some of the giants of homoeopathy, from Hahnemann to John H. clarke. Further, I ought to observe in fairness that Dr. Roberts looks at health and disease from the strict Hahnemannian point of view.

Apparently he does not approve of the use of the Nosodes, the disease products, although Psorinum was introduced by Hahnemann himself, while his great successors developed Bacillinum, Tuberculinum, Syphilinum and scores of others with which they have done veritable miracles. Dr. Roberts is a “high potency” man. Although Hahnemann recommended the use of high potencies the founder of homoeopathy used low potencies and the mother tincture of drugs as well if he thought substantial doses were indicated.

In my opinion, the homoeopath should be open- minded and should use all potencies from the mother tincture to the very highest potencies according to the nature of the case. Further, it seems to me that the doctor and lay healers should not be guided by abstract ideas. His principal aim should be to cure the patient. Salus aegroti summa lex.

H.A. Roberts
Dr. H.A.Roberts (1868-1950) attended New York Homoeopathic Medical College and set up practrice in Brattleboro of Vermont (U.S.). He eventually moved to Connecticut where he practiced almost 50 years. Elected president of the Connecticut Homoeopathic Medical Society and subsequently President of The International Hahnemannian Association. His writings include Sensation As If and The Principles and Art of Cure by Homoeopathy.